Strength in Teamwork

How does our Temple maintain smooth daily business operations to ensure that we meet our mission, goals, and objectives? The answer lies with our dedicated team members who diligently work to meet a common goal of focusing on serving our members’ needs. As our Temple Team Creed says, We will promote honesty, trust, and equity with our members through respect and loving-kindness. Through our responsive and transparent communication, we will consistently raise the bar for our Temple Team. We asked our passionate team to describe a typical day on the job, tell about a time when they went above and beyond regular responsibilities, and why their job is important or why they like their job.

Erin Beeler

Member Relations Coordinator

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Oversee processes for welcoming new members, donations, and cemetery concerns
  • Check on members with daily phone calls to ensure they feel recognized and valued by The Temple
  • Invoicing, depositing, and generating financial reports and tax letters
  • Write weekly thank you notes and handle memorial plaques

I am thrilled to have secured a Homeland Security Grant for The Temple, one that we haven’t been awarded in the past. For any event we host for our members I go above and beyond to make it as enjoyable and memorable as possible. “I love working for The Temple – everyone is so warm and welcoming! The team all stays super busy, and the environment here is like nothing else I’ve experienced in a workplace. It is a positive, fun, supportive, and productive place. I feel blessed to have gained this second family through The Temple!”

Benji Berlow

IT and Communications Manager

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Updating our website and mobile app with events and pictures
  • Sending out communications to members
  • Preparing the live stream for Shabbat services
  • Organizing the upcoming Bulletin
  • Creating new automation for our database

During the pandemic, my job instantly changed to remote IT support for our members. As we were in unprecedented times, there was no guide map to follow. With every decision we made for Adult Education, services, or programs I always asked myself what would be easiest for our members. I worked one-on-one with congregants to understand their issues, teach them, and prevent their problems from arising again. “My job is essential because my work provides efficiencies to the entire staff. For example, if a task takes six or seven steps with manual input, I work with the team to turn that process into two clicks with automation.”

Santa Brink

Front Desk Coordinator

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Ensuring our members are happy 200% of the time
  • Negotiating vendor contracts, ensuring the work is completed per our timelines
  • Managing all front desk volunteers and lead for all Temple committees
  • Support for our Jewish Heritage Fund Annual Grant

Once a cherished member had a bad fall. His daughter, who lives out of town, reached out to The Temple to see if we knew of any organizations that could help take care of his dog while he was on bed rest. I said, “We can.” I enlisted help from the staff at The Temple, and we took turns walking his dog for a few weeks until The Temple member got better. We continue to stay in touch with him so that anytime he needs help, we are there. “I LOVE my job because I love making people smile and laugh. It is a gratifying job, especially when I can resolve our members’ questions or concerns!”

Caty Gidcumb

Office Administrator, Temple Trager ECEC

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Registration, billing inquiries, and adjustments
  • Ensuring student records are up-to-date
  • Gladly assist in classrooms for scheduled lunch breaks or if a staff member is absent

“While I have worked in childcare for over a decade, The Temple is by far the best preschool community of which I have been a part. Having the opportunity to grow in my career as well as provide my bonus son with an amazing educational opportunity is something for which I will always be thankful.”

Sarah Harlan

Principal, Chester B. Diamond Religious School
and Director, Chavurat Shalom

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Running Chavurat Shalom weekly: planning, communications, and payment for invoices
  • Liaison for school families, staff, Temple and community publications, Chavurat Shalom friends, speakers and performers, and the caterer
  • Plan and organize the Religious School calendar, including school-wide holiday “team center” days, special events, grade-level services, and dinners
  • Planning, purchasing, and mailing college care packages
  • Ordering grade-level service gifts and all textbooks and workbooks to ensure the curriculum is relevant, meaningful, and comprehensive.
  • Make sure everything runs smoothly on Sundays and Wednesdays for Religious School. I even substitute, if needed

I always want to ensure every student and family feels supported and welcome; I don’t consider it as going above and beyond to do whatever I need to accomplish that goal. “I’ll never forget the joy on the faces of the Chavurat Shalom friends when they saw each other once we were able to Zoom programming during the pandemic. The most important part of what I do is help people from preschool to seniors connect, feel respected, supported, and seen; act as a channel to join The Temple community; educate, entertain, and engage through the Religious School and Chavurat Shalom.”

Jess Kalb

Event and Marketing Coordinator

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Temple lead for staff and members with all the details to ensure events are as strong as possible starting with images for visual marketing, copywriting, and determining a timeline for when and where to place the information
  • Writer and help with Bulletin, weekly email, app notifications, and social media
  • Act as a point of contact for members as they plan for lifecycle events like B’nei Mitzvah celebrations and weddings
  • Be the internal conduit among our administrative staff, volunteers, and maintenance staff because no event can run without proper planning and setup

I joke that I get to make art and plan parties all day. I love the work I get to do here. I try to lead by example, and I think it surprised my team that I showed up on a Sunday to clean up after a particularly messy event. “My job is necessary because it provides information and access to members so they may participate in our community, a central tenet of Jewish life.”

Andrea Melendez

Clergy Assistant

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Assist and support Rabbi David and Cantor Lauren in all aspects of their roles at The Temple
  • Work as an intermediary between Temple congregants and the clergy to support them through all life cycle events, community outreach opportunities, and individual needs

“I have worked at The Temple for ten years and as a part of our local Jewish community for almost 20 years. I have served in a few different roles, but I love supporting the community I call home because my family and I are a part of it.”

Twila Norris

Assistant Director, Temple Trager ECEC

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Check with the staff to make sure they have everything they need
  • Serve as a sounding board for the teachers so they feel heard
  • Assure we have all the supplies we need for a great day at The Temple
  • Navigate teacher schedules to make sure all classroom numbers are below the state standard

On occasions, I also help parents after hours with issues they might have with their children which sometimes might include phone calls with the children. “I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to grow lasting, loving relationships with the children, families, and my co-workers.”

Julie Peak Simon

Director, Temple Trager ECEC

A few regular daily tasks include:

  • Implement the philosophy of Temple Trager ECEC
  • Supervise and manage all staff schedules, professional growth, and classroom curriculum
  • Prepare the annual budget and operate the preschool within the approved budget

Before the start of this school year, I hosted our team of 55 teachers at my house for dinner to provide an inclusive way for everyone to relax and enjoy each other’s company outside of the preschool. “I am honored to be part of a community with a long-standing reputation for its dedication to the education and social/emotional development of young children. I love my job because it affords me the opportunity to not only work alongside incredible teachers but to play and laugh with children throughout my day.”

Our Maintenance Team is composed of four members who share the responsibilities of maintaining our buildings and property. Meet our Maintenance Team Members:

Terry Campbell

Maintenance Team Leader

Gene Doyle

Maintenance Team

Daily tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Service and event set-up
  • Maintenance projects and repairs
  • Daily cleaning and checking grounds of Temple
  • Snow removal on sidewalks
  • Open The Temple each morning
  • Support preschool needs
  • Manage all other issues / projects /maintenance needs

Bailey Czerkiewicz
and Dan Krause

Night Maintenance

Nightly tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Maintenance support
  • Secure the building (lights, locks, etc.)
  • Burglar and fire alarm priority call list
  • Prep for early morning, evening, and weekend activities
  • Open and close during holidays